Definition of gonzo in US English:



North American
  • 1Of or associated with journalistic writing of an exaggerated, subjective, and fictionalized style.

    • ‘Rolling Stone once heralded the cutting edge of gonzo journalism.’
    • ‘In short, the film is a pleasingly inoffensive diversion in which Philip Seymour Hoffman, in the guise of splenetic gonzo rock journalist Lester Bangs, almost steals the show.’
    • ‘Hunter S Thompson will forever be remembered as the pioneer of gonzo journalism.’
    • ‘Okay, this has been such a gonzo news week that I thought some escapism would do us all a world of good.’
    • ‘He felt like he was a cultish gonzo reporter so he decided to drag out his old underwood from under the bed and bash out the following report on the state of this house now the elections were under way.’
    • ‘After his critically acclaimed Looking for a Fight, Matthews goes to the dogs for his next adventure into gonzo journalism.’
    • ‘Weblogs are more than the sum of its parts: more than vibrant public forums and frequently updated streams-of-consciousness, alternative forms of publishing and online outbursts of gonzo journalism, and personal diaries.’
    • ‘It refined his gonzo style without sacrificing his remarkable eye for composition, resulting in a classical narrative as well told as any has been for years.’
    • ‘Curiously, apart from a few gonzo journalists, nobody in the media much picked up the ball and ran with it.’
    • ‘Instead it is part culinary adventure, part travelogue, part gonzo journalism and part social politics, and it is a hilarious page-turner to boot.’
    • ‘Blogging is gonzo journalism, where who we are, what we are, and what we care about is as much a part of the story as what we are writing about.’
    • ‘Spanning two decades, his dispatches read as freestyle, brazenly subjective walks on the wild side, haunted by the ghost of gonzo reportage and often installing the author as a third-person player in the drama.’
    • ‘The definitive account of the evening was written by gonzo journalist Mike Shropshire in the hilarious memoir of his stint covering the Rangers in the mid-Seventies, Seasons in Hell.’
    • ‘To this personal intrusion that is the heart of his writing he gave the name gonzo journalism.’
    • ‘For the handful of you out there who never discovered gonzo journalism, Litkicks has a pretty comprehensive profile that covers Thompson's early career.’
    • ‘His self-invented style of gonzo journalism which pushed the hack himself into the story even as it pushed any attempt at objectivity out, defined feature writing for the next few generations.’
    • ‘That's why the concept of journalistic impartiality is a sham, and why I advocate gonzo media so strongly.’
    • ‘In the 30-odd years since gonzo journalism was invented, the editor of a magazine which has consistently championed America's best new writers could think of no greater literary heroes.’
    • ‘The ashes of the late journalist, often credited with starting gonzo journalism, where the writer is an important part of the story, were blasted out of a tower over his home in Colorado.’
    • ‘But is it just gonzo journalism, or could this more personality-driven style in some ways provide a more ‘true-to-life’ account of reality than classic news journalism?’
    1. 1.1 Bizarre or crazy.
      ‘the woman was either gonzo or stoned’
      • ‘Yet the unscripted Dean was the perfect gonzo candidate for the gonzo campaigner.’
      • ‘The result: this guy steps up to the mic and proceeds to deliver the most aggressively incompetent, indelibly off-key and memorably gonzo version of the Queen song ever performed in the history of the universe.’
      • ‘He first took to the turntables at 11 years old, and ever since, Paul has remained the hip-hop scene's most adventurous producer, shaping and reshaping the music according to his gonzo sensibility.’
      • ‘Attendees can obtain jackalope hunting licenses from the Chamber of Commerce and go gonzo with the crosshairs so long as they remember to refrain from hunting jackalope from midnight to 2 a.m. on June 31.’
      • ‘Then, over the next half an hour, a bunch of gonzo skateboarders and other mentalists from the mall construct slapstick routines, some of them bordering on the life-threatening.’
      mad, insane, out of one's mind, deranged, demented, not in one's right mind, crazed, lunatic, non compos mentis, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare, stark mad
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1970s: perhaps from Italian gonzo ‘foolish’ or Spanish ganso ‘goose, fool’.